After completing a BA Hons degree in the History of Drawing and Printmaking Nicola went to teach fine art at a summer camp in America where she was able for the first time to try her hand at pottery in the art workshop. On returning to the UK she enrolled in a City and Guilds in Ceramics in Notting Hill, London and after completion applied for and received a Princes Trust Grant in 1996. This enabled her to purchase a potters wheel, a kiln and enough equipment to set up a small studio, this equipment is still in use 25 years later! Moving to the West Country to raise 3 hungry boys, pre pandemic she started concentrating on working with clay once more.
After a few early trials Nicola developed a fascination with the patterns, imprints and texture that flowers and plants leave behind when rolled into clay. Her years clay work begins with the emergence of the first tiny, delicate snowdrops and ends with the deep glossy green of the Christmas holly. Hedgerows and friends gardens are continually scoured for plants, flowers or interesting leaves. Whether a single stem or a whole array of colour each plant is allowed to fall naturally onto the earthenware clay, where it is rolled, and the imprints left behind. Each slab of clay is then made into a ceramic keepsake, be it a vase, bowl or a specific commission. The works are all hand painted using ceramic underglazes as close to the wonderful colours of nature as possible. Thus British seasonal flowers are preserved and encapsulated in her work. Deep blues of spring bluebells, crimson red of delicate poppies and the beautiful hues of the fragrant sweet pea are amongst Nicolas favourites. Each piece is bisque fired, then a clear glaze applied resulting in ceramic works of art that are a unique representation of the Somerset countryside.